Apprendre la Langue Française (Part 30): l’interrogation (oui/non questions)


Source: french.about.com

There are four different ways to ask yes/no questions in French, but two of them are considered familiar (informelle) constructions:

1. Put est-ce que at the beginning of any sentence (formal/familiar)

Est-ce que tu danses (vous dansez)?Do you dance?
Est-ce que tu aimes (vous aimez) danser? Do you like to dance?

2. Use inversion: invert the verb and subject pronoun, and join by a hyphen (formal/familiar)

Danses-tu (Dansez-vous)? Do you dance?
Aimes-tu danser (Aimez-vous danser)? Do you like to dance?

When using the third person singular (il, elle, or on) with a verb that ends in a vowel, you must add t- between the verb and subject pronoun.

Aime-t-il les films? Does he like movies?
Parle-t-elle beaucoup? Does she talk a lot?
A-t-on décidé? Have we decided?

3. Raise the pitch of your voice (l’intonation montante) at the end of any normal sentence (familiar)

Tu danses? You dance?
Tu aimes danser? You like to dance?

4. Add n’est-ce pas to the end of the sentence (familiar)

Tu danses, n’est-ce pas? You dance, right?
Tu aimes danser, n’est-ce pas? You like to dance, right?

On negative questions, when asked, there is a special French word for yes, si, that is used only when responding yes to a negative question.

Vas-tu au ciné? Are you going to the movies?
Oui! Yes!

Ne vas-tu-pas au ciné? Aren’t you going to the movies?
Si! Yes (I am)!

Tu ne vas pas au ciné? You’re not going to the movies?
Si! Yes (I am)!

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One Response to Apprendre la Langue Française (Part 30): l’interrogation (oui/non questions)

  1. Pingback: Apprendre la Langue Française (96e partie): communication et savoir-faire, les sommaires (deuxieme partie) « coffeechat with perkyperps

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